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Creation-E pour Homme - An enigmatic gem by Roja Dove - February 28, 2014 New Fragrance Listing

We've had our random draw for a 100ml. bottle of Magnolia Grandiflora Michel, courtesy of Saskia Havekes at Grandiflora Fragrance....

And the happy winner is C.M.  - who is absolutely thrilled! She adores perfume, and loves the work of Michel Roudnitska. His scent, Amoureuse, she writes, "is like a lazy day with air scented with pollen and linden" She goes on to say "...thank you for this tremendously generous gift. I live in ****** and to say there are no perfume stores here is the understatement of the century." We're certain that she'll enjoy her special prize right down to the last drop!

All other entrants will receive a 1 ml decant of Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine, and Magnolia Grandiflora Michel, courtesy of

Now here's today's post...

Photo - Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie in Harrod's, London


I’ve always been fascinated by the connection between the sound of words, and their meaning, which is I think is one of the reasons I enjoy writing so much. I can spend a fair bit of time just pondering over words, saying them out loud, writing them down, playing with their look and sound, and then mulling over their meanings.

Words like enigma, for example. Enigma isn’t a graceful sounding word - it sounds like it should be a medical condition or perhaps a complicated legal term  – and it’s not commonly used in our post-millenium twitterized conversations. Defined by various dictionaries as: a person, or thing, or situation that is mysterious, puzzling, ambiguous, inexplicable, obscure, inscrutable, perplexing - an enigma is a conundrum, a paradox. It is also a great name for a perfume.

Which is possibly why Roja Dove chose Enigma for his Oriental fragrance which launched in 2013. “The mystery of the name drove me to create a fragrance that seems to be all things to all people, but itself is certain and assured, whilst creating ambiguity in others”. Roja Parfums website

Two versions, one for women and one for men, were launched as Enigma in the U.K., but launched in North America as Creation-E, for copyright reasons. I tested both during our recent visit to Osswald in NYC, among several others in the fabulous Roja Dove line, and finally chose Creation-E pour Homme as a gift to myself because I was drawn to the tobacco and cognac notes in the heart of this extraordinary EdP. I’ve been lusting after a Roja Dove scent for a couple of years.

Here’s a bit of background on Roja Dove:

Roja, pronounced as Roger with a British accent, is highly regarded in the perfume world. A Brit who migrated to France in his early twenties, he worked for Guerlain in Paris for two decades learning the perfume industry, becoming an authority on perfume history as well as expert on the creative process in perfume development, and ending as the global ambassador for the revered House of Guerlain. Returning to Britain, he set up his own PR business, and became a consultant specializing in perfumes and luxury beauty products. In 2004, he partnered with Urban Retreat and opened Roja Dove Haute Perfumerie on the fifth floor of Harrod’s in London, a luxurious “sensual haven of silks, satins, lots of glass, mirror and crystal, and black lacquer”….which featured niche perfume brands chosen by Dove, which at the time were basically unknown, brands such as Tom Ford, Caron, Lalique, Xerjoff, Dior, Atelier Flou, and Clive Christian.

As the demand for high quality, high-end fragrances grew and grew, Roja decided to offer his own bespoke creations, and the rest is history – the Roja Dove brand was born. See the range here. His perfumes are positioned at the top of the retail perfume pyramid vis-a-vis creativity, complexity, and quality, and the prices for these scents reflect his strategy. Roja Dove creates scents that are prized by modern perfume lovers because they have the craftsmanship and the dramatic heft of classic vintage fragrances, and they are not for the feint of heart in any respect.

Creation-E pour Homme is deep, dark, and delicious. It opens with a blast of bergamot, backed up with fusty geranium and black pepper– strong and forceful, fresh and alive – which pulls my shoulders and chin back with a snap, and instantly clears my head! This may be too much, too big, too masculine for me but as soon as I think that thought, Creation-E starts to come alive on my skin. A softness is perceived, the scent of gentle heliotrope rolls over the geranium, forming a floral accord soon joined by jasmine and neroli. The sweetness of the white florals is followed by rose mixed with cardamom and ginger, an arresting spicy prelude to the next act.

Into the heart I go, and what a big wonderful warm heart this perfume owns!  Boozy notes, vanilla and cognac – rich herbal notes, tobacco and patchouli – smoky woody notes, benzoin and sandalwood – smooth sensuous notes, ambergris  -  swirl under my nose in waves. I love the tobacco vanilla cognac accord, which is real and rich but not too sweet, perfectly balanced by the smoky herbals, and the salty-skin sensation of the ambergris in the dry-down. The depth of the accords is remarkable, as is their persistence. I normally prefer that scents fade away and disappear after a few hours but with Creation-E I’m thrilled to experience its amazing longevity. Ten hours after a morning spritz it’s still fully alive.

So where is the inscrutable paradox factor in this Enigma/Creation-E? Is it mysterious and compelling – does it defy expectations as the description on the website promises? Creation-E pour Homme is definitely “certain and assured”, especially in the opening stages, and it has a potent confidence throughout, but there’s also a gentleness to this scent that’s revealed in the heart and the lingering base notes. My expectation was different. I expected the "bigness" of the opening to dominate throughout but the overwhelming sensation for me is one of rich soft spicy sensual radiant warmth. It's never too much - too boozy, or smoky, or woody - and I can smell the tobacco and the cognac notes, but they seem to fit with every stage of the drydown, changing intensity and nuance. 

And the ambiguity, the enigma?  The name is Creation-E pour Homme – for Men – but I am most definitely a Woman, and this gorgeous fragrance feels like it was created just for me.  If I can allow myself to part with it for a few days, I’ll test it on the Husband to see how it works on a Man. I think Roja Dove may just have created a fragrance that truly reflects it name.

Place your bets, mesdames, messieurs…


Today, we’re adding Creation-E pour Homme to our Decant store. Decants are $6.00.